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[personal profile] drakonlily
Fandom: Hannibal TV Series
Rating + Warnings: R No Unusual Warnings Apply
Word Count: 2,316
External Link: Wolf by [a03.org profile] drakonlily
Summary: The Wolfman Killer was one of America's most prolific and dangerous serial killers with what was assumed to be a fifteen year history and over 90 confirmed victims. He was working as a criminal profiler for the FBI out of Quantico before he was found out by Agent Jack Crawford. He has to date refused to give up the location of his last sixteen victims. Agent Crawford called in one of the best minds he could to take on the case.

This AU fic that explores the question ″what if Will Graham snapped before he met Hannibal Lecter?″




Chapter Text

"I apologize for only being able to meet you so late in the day, Fredrick." Lecter held up a box containing a Courvoisier L’Esprit Decanter and patted a cooler that hung from a strap about his shoulders. "Peace offerings?"

Chilton stood up graciously. "A rare treat indeed to have personal bottle and dinner service from Doctor Hannibal Lecter. Let me clear some space."

"You mentioned that you had some concerns about Mr. Graham?" Lecter sat out the assorted Mikasa serving wear. His matching set was in 'crown jewel' and the delicate scroll work on the silver edges glistened as if it had been newly polished. Despite its shine, Lecter ran a cloth napkin about the edges before he plated the meal.

"I do, but first, what did you bring?"

"Duck confit with mushrooms in an apricot glaze." Lecter primly sat himself down at Chilton's desk and smiled. "To pair with the cognac. I find it best to discuss problems over a meal." The meat aroma steamed in curls out of the dish artfully; he then tipped the lids onto their tops so no moisture would intrude upon Chilton's desk.

Chilton delicately gripped the Knightsbridge flat wear and slowly cut into the meat before him. Using his knife, he slid some of the glaze and mushroom up onto the prongs of his fork. "Breaking bread for even ground." Chilton agreed before he took a moment to savor the flavor of the meal before him. After a pleased sigh he sipped the drink in his glass and got to his point. "This is an excellent apology, perhaps I should endeavor to be insulted more often."

"Careful, Fredrick, wouldn't want to take advantage of my hospitality." Lecter took a similar bite of the meal and raised his glass to Chilton in toast. "I'll make sure to have you at the next dinner party."

"I will look forward to it." Chilton nodded. He then took another bite before continuing with his original point. "I have my doubts about Will Graham's insanity defense."

"I hardly believe that one can be in control of one's faculties while the right hemisphere of their brain is compressed against his skull. It's a miracle that there hasn't been long term damage."

"That's very true, but Graham is a singularly fascinating case. He does have an autoimmune disorder that makes him especially prone to infection. Whatever began this, I have no way to know, but I wonder if his crimes were a result of his illness or if the illness was simply a convenient excuse."

Lecter considered Chilton's points. "Let us say that the brain could, perhaps, push someone to do the things that Graham did. Have you gotten any studies to show the change in his cognitive abilities while he was being treated?"

Chilton quirked an eyebrow, but then nodded. "Of course, but now that's he's stabilized, he's become increasingly uncooperative." Chilton cut off another bit and smiled as he swallowed. "How do you get duck to taste like this? It's melting in my mouth."

"When I was a boy I studied cooking in France. You'd be amazed how carefully they handle meats of all varieties." Lecter studied one of the mushrooms a moment. "And he was more… cooperative while he was ill?"

"Yes, and his logic connections were erratic, but much more pronounced than they are now." Chilton chuckled. "Perhaps he has reached his expiration date."

"Unfortunate that we have no real way of determining if he needs to have an infection on the brain to make those leaps of logic." Lecter sipped his drink; the ice cubes made a pleasing clink in his glass. "Medically speaking, how is he now?"

"Normal, but he will need to be medicated for the foreseeable future. He's prone to relapse besides. Relapsing would likely mean re-offending.." Chilton waved his fork as his voice drifted off. "Though I can't be sure of that as he's under appropriate medical care now."

Lecter made an intrigued sound and set his glass down. "That truly is fascinating. It is a shame you can't ethically prove that theory, isn't it?"

The question lingered as Chilton sipped his drink. "I've considered that, trust me. It would be a breakthrough study on the effects of long term autoimmune disorders, infections, and the human mind." He sighed and cast a glance at his filing cabinet. "But perhaps it's not worth the risk."

"What if I could provide a way for you to share the burden, so to speak?" Lecter asked pointedly. "If he is released into the custody of the FBI for example?"

Possibilities appeared to dance in Chilton's mind for a moment before self preservation kicked in. "What would you get out of that arrangement? Is it worth your time?"

″That would be benefit of the time being mine." Lecter dabbed his mouth with his napkin. "I may waste it as I see fit.″

"You want in on the book deal."

Lecter smiled at Chilton as though he'd been caught with his hand in a cookie jar. "Can you blame me?"

"Then you've some work to do. He's taken to fighting in the yard."

Graham appeared far too in control of himself to slip into fits of uncontrolled violence. Lecter arched an eyebrow as he wondered aloud, ″What happened?″

″Are you familiar with Dolarhyde?″ Chilton sat back contentedly in his seat.

"The Tooth Fairy? Of course I am, it was quite the case."

"Graham was the one to catch him. I imagine that Dolarhyde saw an in and took it."

That made sense. Lecter sighed. ″Self defense is hardly initiating violence.″

″But, it does prove that Graham still a capacity for it. To complete my-- our --study, we need to argue that he can be released and remain docile.″

"If I may be so bold, Fredrick, I believe that most of us have a capacity for violence." Lecter sipped down the last of his cognac. "Society forgives protecting one's self from the harm of another." Lecter stood and refilled both men's drinks. "Between the two of us, I'm quite interested in how Graham's case study could play out."

″That makes two of us. He'll need more PR than you may be able to get him." Chilton swirled the cognac. "Will Graham has all of the markers of a serial killer. Absent parental figure, transient lifestyle, low level of education, difficulty connecting with people an-″

″People, however, seem to have no difficulty connecting with him.″

″I beg your pardon?″

″Will Graham still has some very loyal friends. Despite what he has done, they hold onto hope that he truly was unwell. They are willing to work with any possibility that he is rehabilitation ready.″ Lecter pulled out another covered plate and began to replace his dishes into his bag.

"What else will we have to contend with?" Chilton finished his plate with a contented sigh. "He's thankfully only well known in deed, not in person." Due to the extremely high profile of everyone involved in the Wolfman case, Crawford had succeeded in claiming a press blackout. He reasoned that it was to protect everyone's safety and assure that Graham had a fair trial.

"Thankfully he does not have to hide his face." Lecter responded in agreement. It would have been a shame to hide that particular face.

"It is true that the press blackout kept Graham's private details from being out to the general public." Chilton assisted by handing his own dishes over to Lecter. "Despite that, there have been leaks to the public. People will know who they are looking at."

Lecter unveiled a classic crème brûlée for desert by sitting a tray before Chilton and lifting for a bit of dramatic effect. "I think that the details are foggy enough that we could get away with pushing Graham back outside. We will be paying very close attention, after all." Once loose, Lecter had ideas on how Graham would react. In the back of his mind he pictured releasing a wolf from a leg trap; it was up to the wolf if it responded with gratitude or with fangs.

Chilton admired the way that the top of the brûlée caramelized under Lecter's blowtorch. "So we are in this together?"

Lecter sat the dessert in front of Chilton. "But of course."

-+-

She knew better than to expect cat calls, but Beverly Katz swallowed anyway as she walked up the vast stone steps and into the asylum. Something about the whole building set her teeth on edge and made her feel like she was being watched.

Katz clutched a case file tightly in her hands. This particular case bothered her. It was too close to the way that the Wolfman left his victims and it obviously couldn't be the Wolfman if Graham was sitting in the Baltimore Home for the Criminally Insane. It left her with the fleeting hope that maybe Graham really was more innocent than they thought. There was just something off about the whole way the bodies were layed out at the scene. Whatever that thing happened to be, however, was like catching smoke.

Thankfully Katz was of the opinion that it was better to ask for forgiveness than beg for permission. She checked her gun, her badge, her pens, and then even her hair sticks. “Any reason for the mega lock-down?” she asked the tired looking orderly.

The orderly shrugged as she unceremoniously dropped Katz's belongings into a bin. “Some of the inmates got into it in the yard.” She then offered the flat smile of a person who was at the end of a twelve hour shift.

“Who?”

“I can't tell you that, Agent Katz.”

“Sure you can, Agent Katz is Korean for 'I can get a warrant'.” She smiled her most serious and agent-like smile. “I just want to know if it's about Will Graham.”

The orderly finally answered after she looked around to wait to see if anyone was watching. “He was jumped in the yard, yes. Dolarhyde got something up his ass and they went at it.”

“Is he okay?” She fought to keep her voice from raising.

“He's fine" the orderly nodded. "A little beat up, but I'm not supposed to talk about it. You'll have to ask him.” She pushed the visitor's badge across the counter. “It's good you're visiting him. I think that he's getting lonely." She bit her lip nervously "I'm running out of books to bring him."

Katz was too polite to mention the blush that crept up the orderly's cheeks. At the same time Katz knew that Graham could be charming in the right situations. She'd never considered him the sort of person to garner blushes from orderlies, but Graham just wasn't really her type.

She didn't like the silence that thundered around her as she passed the glass and metal cells. As one of the foremost forensics scientists for the FBI she knew everyone down here by sight. Dolarhyde, she noted, had his wrist in a sling. The air was tense among the inmates, shoulders rolled and bodies paced. It did nothing to help the unsettling atmosphere.

In his cell at the end of the hall, Graham didn't look much worse for wear aside from a black eye and a bruise that swept up his collarbone and neck. He wasn't nearly as pale as the last time she had seen him. He looked at her, not around her and his eyes lit up when he recognized her. “Bev! I... I didn't expect to see you.”

Katz couldn't help but stare. The bruise was pronounced and nearly black in places, but Graham had filled out during his lockup. He had a strong set to his jaw, his shoulders broader and his eyes were clear, unfaltering, and secure. It certainly explained the orderly blushing. It wasn't as if the Graham she remembered was unattractive, however, he'd always been on the sickly side. It wasn't obvious to her exactly how sick Graham had been tills he saw him before her, healthy. "You look great,″ was all she could manage to say.

Graham laughed. "Well, in this trendy outfit with my new tattoo and all."

"You're not funny." Katz responded. "I'm serious, you do look good. I had no idea you were that sick."

Graham cleared his throat and nodded. "For most of my life... apparently.″

The chair made a soft, scratching sound as Katz pulled it up so she could sit down. She smiled back. ″...really?″

″Yeah. I mean, when I was like-" Graham's eyes slid up to the left as he searched his personal history "-six or so I got this real bad infection, but dad didn't ever get a chance to take me to a doctor. Looks like it never really went away.″ He leaned forward on the cot in a similar pose to Katz. Graham looked like he wanted to get up and touch her.

She couldn't help but sound excited. ″Till now.″

″Till now.″

Katz wanted to hug him so badly. She wanted to tell him that they'd never really given up on him. None of this was appropriate. Even though Katz would be delighted to see Graham free, it was too optimistic. ″Will... I … I should have visited sooner. I suppose I didn't know what to expect.″ She fumbled with the file that she brought with her.

Graham's face fell slightly. ″You came because you need something.″

Guilt washed over her. Katz clenched her jaw. ″I'm sorry.″ She looked away.

″Jack sent you?″

″Are you kidding? He's going to like, ground me for a month.″

″So you did want to see me.″

She locked eyes with him. It startled her how strange that felt. Graham had avoided eye contact with her in the past, but now he reached into her like a lapidarist sorting thru precious stones. He seemed pleased with what he saw and for her part, Katz had nothing to offer him but sincerity. ″Of course I did, Will. We're friends.″ She lifted the file in her hand ″But I do... want ...we need help.″

Whatever Graham had been looking for within Katz's eyes it must have pleased him as his expression softened before he spoke. ″I'd love to help you, Bev. I'm bored out of my mind here.″ He motioned. ″Let's see what you have.″

Katz started pulling photos from the folder. She taped the first one up against the glass. "Ronnie Baker, female. Aged thirty." The scene was staged, absolutely. The body had been moved from where it fell. At the very least she had been posed. The gash across her neck did not match with the way the blood was splattered around her. There was no fan-fair to how she'd been laid out, but it seemed like the killer had at least thought about her position, even if they didn't understand it. "Whoever attacked her didn't take her down cleanly. She's covered in defensive wounds. Cause of death was a knife wound to the throat."

"What organs are missing?"

"Hey, I'm getting there!" Katz chastised teasingly. "Ronnie Baker was missing her heart." She then pulled out a second picture. This one was very different in minor details. The body had not been moved after the victim had been killed. The man had no defensive wounds. This strike was clean, singular, and far more practiced. Katz tapped it up next to the first. "And Mr Arnold Swift is missing his liver."

"Different killers."

Katz clicked her tongue. "You sure?"

"The first one took the time to pose their victim. They're unsure. Second one didn't. He-" Graham's voice drifted off and he closed his eyes "-he's an artist. The other an amateur."

"Can we not talk like that?"

Graham looked startled at himself. "Ah… sorry."

"Okay, so how about this one." She pinned up one last photo. This was another staged body that had been moved after he'd been killed. The details seemed to jump out as Graham as he focused on it. Katz had a feeling he'd already noticed that one of the hands had been cut off while the victim was alive and the other one had been taken postmortem.

Graham motioned to the picture, "can I have that?"

She nodded and slipped the photograph thru the slits in the glass.

Graham focused on the image and then his blue eyes drifted closed. He took a deep breath and drew himself up to stand completely straight. His mouth twitched slightly and his closed eyes winked. Graham swayed from side to side slightly like a reed in a breeze. The gentle motion snapped to a halt and his face twitched in pain. He sucked in a breath thru clenched teeth.

"Will!"

He shook his head started as if he had been awakened from a trance. "S-sorry."

Katz's eyebrows were knitted together in worry. Her jaw clenched a moment "where do you go when you do that?"

"You don't want to come with me."

In that moment she wanted to throw everything back in her file and throw it down so he wouldn't have to do that thing of his. Watching his face and the way he slipped into the mindset of a killer was more than a little creepy. She wished that there was a way to go with him to that place if for no other reason than to bring him back safely.

"Stop worrying about me. I want to help"

Katz cleared her throat and didn't comment on how it felt like he'd read her mind. "Is this the same killer?"

The photo passed back between the slits. Graham shook his head ″...maybe.″

″Maybe?″ Katz crossed her arms over her chest. ″Maybe's not good enough, Will. Don't string me along.″

″How do you know I'm stringing?″ Graham peeked around the side of the photographs so he could be directly in Katz's line of sight.

″Because you're the best.″

″I'll need more to go on and...″ he looked up at the camera's red light as it flashed over Katz's shoulder. ″less cameras.″

Katz began plucking the photographs off of the glass and slid them into the file. She then passed it through the bottom of the cell door. ″Well, here's some light reading. I'll... see what I can do.″ She nodded at him and then turned to go.

Graham called after her. ″Tell Jack I really am sorry? He knows I'd never hurt Bella.″

She swallowed. ″I don't know that Jack's ready to talk to you, Will. He might never be.″ She cut him off before he could say anything else. ″Just, stick in there and behave, okay? I'll do what I can do.″

″Thank you.″ Graham waved the folder after her.

-+-

All of the patients were restless that day. Lock-down hadn't been kind to them, evidently. Lecter heard a scuffle off to his left down a hall. He was going to ignore it till he heard an orderly yell. After that he could hear footsteps slamming in his direction. Lecter could smell some raging desperation to be noticed. He rolled his shoulder to catch Gideon as the other man attempted to tackle him to the ground. The rolling motion kept Lecter upright though they both crashed into the wall beside him. He slammed the heel of his shoe into the insole of Gideon's bare foot and was singularly pleased at the pained yelp that resulted. Before Lecter could follow through with a hard left Agent Katz showed up and shoved Gideon out of the way and into the arms of the advancing control team. ″Watch your patients!″ She snapped.

Lecter was smoothing his hair when she turned around.

″Doctor Lecter. Are you alright?″ Katz wiped off the shoulders of his suit and looked up into his face. She must have seen something in Lecter's expression and turned to look at the retreating Doctor Gideon. ″Did... you know Doctor Gideon professionally?″

″Many years ago, in passing.″ He could tell that he looked mussed and that bothered Lecter. ″What do I owe the pleasure of rescue to, Agent Katz?″

She cleared her throat. ″Promise to not tell Jack?″

″You were speaking with Will.″ It wasn't a question.

Katz nodded. ″We need his help, Doctor. And... and I don't know." She swallowed and looked away at a wall. "I can't even explain it. None of us are really 'right' in the head."

"What makes you say that?″ He took a half step away from the wall and tilted his head in concern. Katz never wore perfume, her own scent was strong and reminded him of the edge of the city at sunrise.

She smirked and cocked her hip with a shift in weight. ″We speak for dead people, Doctor Lecter. It takes a very special brain to do that.″

″Is that what Will has?″

She considered. ″No, I think the dead people speak to him. In whatever way they can.″

″And you find this abnormal?″ He hadn't exactly written Katz off as uninteresting, she simply wasn't as dangerous as other people with her intellectual abilities. She lacked the raw potential that Lecter looked for in his companions.

″Of course I do. But the world needs abnormal people. Without us then it would just be good and evil.″

″Black and white notions bother you?″

She laughed. ″I should get going, if we talk any longer you're liable to bill me.″

″If you do need to talk, I think you will find my rates quite reasonable.″
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